Craig Keener’s Argument for the Continuation of “Charismata”

Posted: February 17, 2010 by Rick Hogaboam in Covenant Theology, Eschatology, Pentecostal/Charismatic Interests, Pneumatology, Theology
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NT scholar Craig Keener makes what I have always found to be a simple and logical conclusion on the implications of Pentecost and Peter’s preaching to the continuing nature of the New Covenant with relation to Spiritual gifts.  This excerpt is from his volume, “The Spirit in the Gospels and Acts”. Keener (1997:197-198) contends against the notion that the accompanying signs of the Spirit’s reception in Acts was confined to some brief era:

The phrases “and your children” and “As many as God shall call” likewise make clear that Luke does not envision the outpouring of the Spirit as a past, temporary gift; if Luke does not regard it as still available, then by his argument God’s calling, the new era, and the availability of salvation must have also been retracted. In this case Luke expects his Christian audience to reject the whole point of Peter’s sermon, as he reports that Peter’s unrepentant Jewish hearers did. The implications of such an interpretation run totally counter to Luke’s theology; clearly he assumes that Pentecost’s endowment of the Spirit and dynamic manifestations of the Spirit such as glossolalia are to continue until Jesus’ return. If “the last days” did in fact begin on Pentecost (2:17), and if, in the words of many scholars today, Luke’s view of the kingdom is “already” as well as “not yet,” Luke believes that Spirit baptism remains normative for God’s community, both to Israel and to “far off” Gentiles.

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